Branding your business, whether it be a new or existing business, is much more complex then hiring a designer to make a logo and marketing materials. Great branding shapes how customers perceive and value your company. Building a strong identity and customer confidence takes time and attention; it requires your brand to be seen and heard. A successful brand needs to be consistent across all marketing channels:
- Physical locations
- Print materials
- Social media
- Sales and Customer Service
Step 1 - Brand You
The first step in developing your brand is asking yourself, what do you want your brand to reflect? Who are you and what are you known for? Who is my target audience? These questions help to discover what makes your business unique and helps build your business’ identity and mission.
It is also important to think about your customers as well as yourself. Your customers make your business what it is, it is important to value their opinion and tailor your mission and messaging to meet their needs. Who are your customers? What would they like to see and hear about your business? Your brand should be appealing and recognizable while visually relaying your company culture. Whenever it is possible to leverage your customer’s opinions on your branding – we recommend it.
Step 2 - Scope Out the Competition
Knowing who your competitors are and what they are doing in your industry is very important in determining where your business is successful, and help identify improvements can be made to your business practices or services. Your goal is to understand what your competitors are doing that is successful and unsuccessful so you can differentiate yourself. When researching your competitors it is important to assess the following:
- Is their branding consistent across all marketing channels? If not, that doesn't build brand recognition and this is something that your business will have a leg up on.
- Look at their reviews on sites like Yelp to see what their customers (and your prospective customers) are saying about them.
- How do their services and/or products compare to what you are offering?
- What does their branding say about their quality?
Remember that your competitors will always be innovating their services, technology, branding, and marketing. We recommend that you perform competitor research routinely to ensure you don’t fall behind on new industry trends.
Step 3 - What Makes You Unique
How does your brand stand out amongst the rest? In order to differentiate your company you need to determine and highlight what makes you a better than your competitors. Focus on the quality or variety of your services or products, differences in pricing, and quality customer service. Think about the following questions to define what aspects of your business make you unique:
- Does your company have a positive community impact or support a particular cause?
- What business processes make you successful?
- What aspect of your customer service gets continual praise?
- What qualities do people associate with your business? Your employees?
- Are you more competitive than your competitors?
- What do your customers like about you?
It is important to capitalize on all aspects of your business that put you a leg up on your competition. Prospective customers weigh all options before committing to a provider of any sort; anything you can do to stand out important in building your brand and reputation.
Step 4 - Visually Bringing It All Together
Now that your brand identity has been established, it is time to visually represent your brand with a great logo and meaningful tagline. Choosing a great design firm is key to getting quality visual assets that both accurately reflects your business and resonates with your customers. A•VIBE’s talented designers work with you to learn your business so that we can successfully combine your mission, company culture, and ideas into stand-out logo design.
We can develop brand guidelines for your company that ensure consistent branding on all platforms. Here are some example logos we have designed for our clients.
Step 5 - Bringing Your Brand to the World
Your new brand should be rolled out quickly and efficiently across all marketing channels. A•VIBE can help design your digital identity by creating branding guidelines, logos, and creating an exceptional website that reflects your business’ goals and improves workflow processes. We have our clients hone-in on their exact vision and we aspire to reflect their company voice and content throughout the entire branding process. If you are interested in creating or updating your business’ branding we would love to schedule a consultation with you to learn more about your company and coinciding goals.
Remember, the key to a successful brand is the employees behind the logo that embody your brand and mission on a daily basis. Customers will choose your business over your competitors when your business delivers solutions, reflects transparency, and promotes trust. Always remember to put your customers first; customer loyalty is the root of building your brand and your business.